arrogance, battles, being smart, Christian encouragement, Christian growth, christian journey, christian walk, Christianity, control, dealing with deceptions, ego, encouragement, helping God, high horse, pride, smartest in the room, vengeance
I confess. I like for people to think I’m smart. I thought at first it was a stay at home mom thing, but when I think back I’ve wanted to look smart my whole life. I’ve always wanted to be the smartest person in the class and as I grew older it only got worse. In the workplace, I strived hard to be the best in any position I obtained. In every office I worked, I wanted people years down the road to have a tear in their eye as they thought of me, knowing that no other employee could ever measure up. Egotistical, I know, but it’s the plain truth. Today, things haven’t changed that much. When I am in a Bible class and the teacher asks a question, I am usually the annoying one who has all the answers (especially if no one else is quick to answer). I always struggle over whether I’m sharing something from a pure motivation of the Spirit’s prompting, or my own ego wanting to show everyone how much I know. I love Biblical discussions, so it’s hard for me to not engage in every little question.
Unfortunately, this tendency has played out in other areas as well. I especially seem to have an issue in the area of the spiritual correction of others. When you want to be the “smart one”, you must let people know that you aren’t fooled by them. You want them to realize that you are on to their tricks and that you see through their deceptions. You want them to know that you have them figured out. So, over the years, I have said things that I should not have said. I have pushed people in areas that I had no business in and worst of all, I have wanted to be a part of another’s exposure. I have wanted for others to know that I helped God in His punishment (for the glory of God, of course -HA!).
This morning I started reading the story of David and Saul and became engrossed. I started at I Samuel 18:20 and kept reading. I read for several chapters and was reminded of David’s conviction that only God removes His anointed. Only God punishes His people. In First Samuel 24:6, David says, “… ‘Far be it from me because of the LORD that I should do this thing to my lord, the LORD’s anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, since he is the LORD’s anointed.” David didn’t make the choice to not touch Saul because of Saul, because of his great relationship with Saul’s son Jonathan, or even because of himself. He did not touch Saul because of the LORD.
So, I found myself asking God, “What’s the big deal if I help You out a little? What’s the problem if You are going to deal with them anyway? Why can’t I help?” His answer to my spirit was startling. I was reminded that every single time in the Old Testament an enemy of Israel wreaked havoc on God’s people due to their disobedience, later on that same enemy was punished severely for messing with God’s people. Did God use them for a good cause? Yes. Were they being allowed by God to take joy in getting rid of sin among the Israelites by helping them turn back to God? Yes. But, did God reward them for their “help”, or did He judge them for their vengeance? He judged. Harshly. Every. Single. Time.
So, I’ve decided (through the power of the Holy Spirit) to stop trying to be the “know-it-all” in the room. If God wants to run someone through the sifter, I will not be cranking the handle. If God needs to draw someone to repentance, I will trust Him to do it in the way He deems necessary (and I won’t be campaigning for my way of doing it). If I see a deception, I will pray and ask God to remind me that He’s got this handled and not manipulate things behind the scenes. After all, I do not want God to turn toward me after I have “helped” Him meet out the punishment and decide that it’s time for me to learn a lesson as well. I want to be on the sidelines. Every. Single. Time.
Romans 12:19 says, “Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the LORD.”
Even though I am not necessarily talking about an enemy, I think the same truth applies to my “know-it-all” status. I must leave any judgment, any punishment, any control of a situation to God and through the power of God’s Spirit in me, that’s just what I’m going to do. No more Ms. Smarty Pants; just a humble believer focused on her God and allowing her trust in Him to shine forth in any way He deems appropriate. A girl who realizes that she is never the smartest person in the room, that’s God job and I’m good with that. I’ve decided to stop travelling this road of life on my “high horse” and travel this road in the arms of my Savior instead.